Tuesday when I reported the news I put this at the bottom of the news page from the CDC. After further information has come out I wanted to do an “oped” on what we can do to prepare ourselves and our family’s to keep us safe, or at the very least to make us all aware of the current situation.
Many of us tend to think of the flu as something we only get in the winter months. When we are indoors more and don’t open our doors and windows as much, well nothing could be further from the truth. This virus is deadly with a kill rate of up to 50%.
We need to get prepared to take care of ourselves and our family’s NOW before the panic starts and there will be shortages of supplies like the ones I am going to suggest. Will this prevent this H7N9? No, sadly it wont but it may help us to prevent it from spending if we do come in contact with someone who has it.
What you need to Know Via CDC web site
It was revealed late this week by researchers at the University of Hong Kong that the H7N9 bird flu virus which has infected 131 people (and killed 36) can be transmitted not only by close contact but by airborne exposure.
Their study, published this week in the journal Science, indicates ferrets were passing the virus cage to cage. Additionally, inoculated ferrets were infected before the appearance of most clinical symptoms, demonstrating there may be more cases than have been detected or reported.
Additionally, tests were conducted using pigs, a major host of influenza viruses. These tests also definitively showed that they could also get infected with H7N9, leading to the belief that H7N9 may combine with pig viruses to generate new variants. A particularly important, though unreported aspect of the entire H7N9 topic is that severe cases are reported to be hemmoraghic. What this means is that those infected could experience, among a myriad of other symptoms, excessive internal bleeding, liver or kidney failure similar to dengue, tick-borne encephalitis, and Ebola.
Readers are reminded that while reported infection numbers are still relatively low, H7N9 clearly has world health authorities seriously spooked. So much so, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the CDC this week published a 1 BILLION dollar cost plus Federal Solicitation for the purposes of emergency experimentation with H7N9 Flu vaccines and emergency experimental antiviral treatments.
The Solicitation specifically references “preparation for a possible large scale national H7N9 influenza vaccination program.”
Further still, the CDC is considering using the two oil-in-water emulsion adjuvants in its stockpile with an H7N9 vaccine in order to increase effectiveness. Of particular note here is that the CDC has never before allowed the use of adjuvants in either the seasonal or pandemic influenza vaccines as their use has been tied to onset of Narcolepsy, as was the case with their H1N1 vaccine.
And something you can be assured of is that if a nationwide H7N9 vaccination program is implemented, this will no doubt be made mandatory for school-aged children given the close proximity of students in a school setting.
Supplies for Combatting This Pandemic
1. Medical Grade Skin Cleaner – In theory flu viruses can be transmitted 3 ways: Air, body fluids and direct contact. One of the best things we can do is to wash our hands and often. One thing that hospitals use is Chlorhexidine Gluconate, or HIBICLENS (brand name) This is used as a surgical scrub, health care personnel also use it for hand cleaning and a per-operative skin prep as well as a skin wound cleaner. The cleaner bonds to the skin to help create a persistent antimicrobial effect. It can be purchased from Amazon at the following link or you may can find it other places. Hibiclens Liquid is the one I ultimately found.
2. N95 Surgical/Filtration Mask – This will be useful for reducing person to person infection. The mask are currently inexpensive and readily available.
The last three (3) items I would encourage you to get in addition to the first two (2) just in case you are the one having to care for the sick individual.
A trash can with lid and trash bags to be placed just outside the quarantine room will also be helpful in containing the contaminated items. This way you will be able to remove the disposable items place them in the trash and cover.
Next go to lavatory and wash your hands using Hibiclens Liquid with warm water. A good rule of thumb is to sing the alphabet twice all the way through. This will ensure you are washing you hands long enough.
You may also want to have disposable utensils, plates and cups. It is important that you keep contact with all items limited to the sick room. The less you have to be around this flu the better it will be for all. Use brown bottle Lysol or Lysol concentrate on ever washable surface in your home. What you can not wash – use Lysol Spray.
The CDC is preparing for a full blown pandemic. Don’t take chances.